A Chinese court on Friday convicted prominent journalist Gao Yu of leaking state secrets to foreign contacts and sentenced her to seven years in prison, in what activists are calling a blow to press freedom and a crackdown on government critics. Gao, a known advocate of free speech and challenger to the Communist Party, disappeared last April and reappeared a month later admitting she had made a “mistake” on China’s state broadcaster. The 71-year-old’s lawyer said she was coerced into a “confession” after police made threats against her son, who was also detained. Gao plans to appeal the Third Intermediate People’s Court ruling, according to her lawyer and brother. The court and the prosecutors did not make public the grounds for the charge against Gao.